Brussels, 21 February 2022 (TDI): The Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of the EU is being held in Brussels and chaired by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President, Josep Borrell Fontelles.

On the sidelines, Foreign Ministers of member states exchanged views with Foreign Minister Kulebo of Ukraine. The Foreign Minister of Slovenia, Anže Logar expressed support for the territorial integrity as well as the sovereignty of Ukraine.

EU has announced emergency funds for Ukraine. The EU Commission tabled a proposal of 1.2 Billion Euros for Ukraine presented by President Ursula von der Leyen.

The proposal is a new emergency macro-financial assistance (MFA) program for Ukraine. This fund is almost €1.2 billion. This proposal is subsequent to direct discussions between Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

MFA funds will be made available to Ukraine in the form of long-term loans on highly favorable terms. They will contribute to enhancing Ukraine’s macroeconomic stability.

The swift adoption of this proposal by the Council and the European Parliament will allow the Commission to immediately disburse the first tranche of €600 million to Ukraine.

The second tranche will be disbursed following a positive assessment of progress made by the Ukrainian authorities. These will happen with the implementation of a limited number of agreed short-term policy measures.

The EU has already provided significant assistance to Ukraine recently. The EU and European financial institutions have allocated around €17 billion in grants and loans to Ukraine since 2014.

This figure includes the provision of €5.6 billion to Ukraine through five MFA programs given to support the implementation of a broad reform agenda in areas such as the fight against corruption, an independent judicial system, the rule of law, and improving the business climate.

The Commission will soon begin work on an additional, longer-term MFA program to further support Ukraine’s modernization efforts. In parallel to today’s proposal, the Commission has also decided significantly to increase the bilateral assistance it provides Ukraine in grants in 2022.

This aid will help to bolster Ukraine’s state-building and resilience efforts. Thus complementing the MFA in helping the country overall.

President Ursula von der Leyen Statement

The EU supports the Ukrainians amidst these difficult times. Today, the Commission is moving forward on the €1.2 billion assistance package announced last week.

This package will help Ukraine to address its financing needs due to the economic and political challenges the country is experiencing.

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President for An Economy that Works for People said that he was grateful for the opportunity of announcing this support during his visit to Kyiv, where he reiterated the EU’s commitment to stand by Ukraine.

The EU has already provided significant assistance to Ukraine to support its resilience and modernization, and specifically to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 2014, the EU and its financial institutions have allocated more than €17 billion in grants and loans to Ukraine, to which the EU continues to provide political, financial, and technical support.

Paolo Gentiloni, the EU Commissioner for Economy stated during the meeting that in this period of deep uncertainty, the European Commission today sends a strong signal of solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

EU is putting on the table a further €1.2 billion in macro-financial assistance. He assured that it was the first €600 million that can be made available as soon as the Council and European Parliament have given their green light to this proposal.

Macro-financial assistance

Macro-financial assistance (MFA) operations are a characteristic of the EU’s broader engagement with adjacent countries. They are intended as an exceptional EU crisis response mechanism.

They are available to EU neighborhood countries undergoing balance-of-payments problems. Aside from MFA, the EU helps Ukraine via various other mechanisms.

These include budget support, humanitarian aid, thematic programs, technical assistance, and blending facilities to support investment.